1918 | June 12

Routes to Stations

On 12 June, 1918, the U.S. submarine chasers assigned to Base 25 engaged in their first hunt. From Hunters of the Steel Sharks: The Submarine Chasers of WWI:

"A classified document circulated to the commanding officers of the chasers, No. 1: - Routes to Stations, provided precise instructions to their assigned locations, including the bearings and runs that would bring each chaser to its spot on the line, and a graphical depiction of the routes on a rough nautical chart marked in a numbered gridwork."

Photo: No. 1: - Routes to Stations. G.S. Dole Collection

Hunters of the Steel Sharks: The Submarine Chasers of WWI

Hunters of the Steel Sharks: The Submarine Chasers of WWI
Woofenden, 2006. Softcover, 224 pages. $23.95. Available on Amazon.com

In 1918, a war time fleet of 303 U.S. submarine chasers formed a new offensive against the enemy, armed with depth charges, deck guns and an array of new, top secret submarine detection and pursuit devices.

These miniature wooden war ships, the smallest commissioned vessels in the American navy, were the first major deployment mechanism for early antisubmarine warfare equipment, and were remarkable in their capabilities and service: Chasers crossed the Atlantic Ocean on their own power; performed submarine hunts and attacks from bases in Plymouth, Queenstown (Cobh) and Corfu; assisted with post-war diplomacy along the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea; helped facilitate troop evacuation in northern Russia; and participated in the clearing of the North Sea mine barrage.

This is the history of the submarine chasers of the Great War, extensively illustrated with period photographs and diagrams, and rich with personal anecdotes, an up-close account of the early days of ASW based on rare, unpublished documents.